I found this toast while looking through some old records of my best friend and devoted Sherlockian, the late Charles Ford Hansen. The toast was given at a dinner of our local Sherlockian group, Dr. Watson’s Neglected Patients, in September of 1982. These words are as true now as they were then.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Sherlockians – and I use the term carefully for I believe that almost all Sherlockians are Ladies and Gentleman. I ask you to raise your glasses in a heartfelt toast to a great man. An English Victorian Gentleman, and a fine physician. This man, in all phases of his life has exemplified that which is fine and good in mankind. He was a skilled and sympathetic healer, a boom companion to his friend Holmes, a splendid biographer and a man of courage and conviction. Who did not flinch at danger nor hesitate to assist his friend Holmes on his cases. Even to the extent of breaking the law on occasion when necessary to put an end to some evil villains career of crime. He shrank neither from wounds or danger. His service in India and the second Afghan war is eloquent testimony to that. He was not only a rare friend and companion but a good and loving husband to his wife, Mary – his one and only wife – despite theories advanced by certain speculative individuals. On this happy day in celebration of Holmes’s 130th birthday I give you Dr John H Watson M.D. late of Her Majesty’s Indian Army. To Dr Watson – God bless him.